Novelist Watson brought to inspire creative writers

This past week, fiction author Larry Watson visited campus to host a Q&A for students and to read excerpts from his novels, both old and new.

He has written many novels, among them, “Montana 1948,” “Orchard,” “American Boy” and “Let Him Go.” Most of them take place in the mid-1900s.

While all of his characters are fictitious, Watson said that he often uses the example of his ancestors to give them life-like dimension.

“In a lot of my fiction, I like to go back to a time and place that wasn’t my own, but belonged to my grandparents,” Watson said. He said that he enjoys finding ways to “imagine my way into the lives of people close to me.”

“Montana 1948” is currently taught at SVSU as part of the Great Lakes Writers class, English 204. In the future, Watson’s latest novel, “Let Him Go,” may be taught as well.

“I think the event went really well,” C. Vince Samarco said. “Larry was really forthcoming with his willingness to participate with students, and I think he just offered a lot of really helpful advice to students who are just figuring out what to do.”

Creative writing and psychology sophomore Kaylee Davis agreed. Her favorite part of the event was when Watson read aloud from his work. “I liked all the detail he had in his writing,” she said.

Watson said that, though he didn’t always know he wanted to write, as soon as he tried his hand at poetry in college, he knew it was meant for him. Creating fictional characters often helps him develop a new way to look at the world through them. “My fictions are complicated ways for me to find answers to questions I’ve never asked,” he said.

“He has just a wealth of long-time expertise that he is willing to share with people, which is great,” Samarco said.

When asked what advice he had for aspiring writers, Watson answered immediately. “Read and write,” he said. “It’s so simple.” He continued on to say that reading helps develop literary skills, and writing is great practice.

SVSU is working to promote out-of-class interest in writing, and bringing Watson in to speak was one way to help. “The university is becoming even more committed to talking about writing on campus, and this was just one more event to emphasis how important (it) is,” Samarco said.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 20th, 2015 and is filed under A&E. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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